Ticks are small yet treacherous animals. They can cause a number of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease. Many ticks also carry diseases that are dangerous to humans.
Regularly checking for and removing ticks from your dog or cat can mean the difference between a healthy pet and a severely ill one, so make sure to keep your eyes open.
If you find a tick on your pet, don’t panic. Start by collecting the supplies you will need to remove the tick, including:
Small jar with isopropyl alcohol
Calm your pet; then get the tweezers as close to the tick-infested area as possible. Pull the tick out in a straight, steady manner to ensure that you get the whole body out. Put the dead tick body in the jar with isopropyl alcohol and date it in case it is needed for future reference. Disinfect the area of the bite with antiseptic and give your pet a treat.
It can take 21 days or even longer for symptoms of a tick-borne illness to appear. Not all of these diseases can be prevented through medications, so you will need to remain alert even if your pet has had all his vaccinations.
If your pet exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, immediately make an appointment with your vet:
Swollen joints and/or lymph nodes
Reluctance to move
Bring the jar containing the dead tick with you to the appointment. Testing the tick can enable your vet to determine what tick-borne illness your pet may have. Upon diagnosing the sickness, the vet will offer appropriate treatment.
Given the fact that there are nearly nine hundred tick species in the world, it is likely that at some point you will need to remove one or more ticks from your beloved pet. Do so quickly yet carefully and be on the lookout for infections that may require timely medical treatment.
This helpful infographic from Carrington College delves further into the tick know-how all pet parents should have: